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Teen airlifted following crash in Olive Township


OLIVE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- An 18-year-old Holland man was flown to a Grand Rapids hospital with serious injuries after a two-vehicle crash Wednesday night in Olive Township.

It happened just after 9 p.m. Wednesday near the corner of 104th Avenue and Stanton Street.

Police say Brandon Redder blew through a stop sign at the intersection. He was hit by an SUV that was southbound on Stanton.

The driver of the SUV, Jordan Geerts, 23 of Hudsonville, was taken to Holland Hospital for evaluation as a precaution.

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Thieves target unlocked homes in 24 Ottawa Co. break-ins


HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- This time of year should be Old Saint Nick's time to shine. However, thieves are stealing some of the spotlight in Holland Township.

Homes in a subdivision near Riley and 120th Avenue were targeted in break-ins over the past week.

"You got these people that just take the fun right away from it," said neighbor Jordan Meyer.

And on Butternut Avenue, too, thieves recently stole Christmas gifts.

"Somebody broke in while I was at work and stole a PS3," said Rhonda Tucker, adding thieves broke into her home just a few days before they targeted her neighbor's home early Monday morning. "Especially to find out they went in someone's house while they were home asleep --that's very scary."

Then, investigators say the suspects stole cell phones, as well as a car later found abandoned.

Zeeland boy with terminal cancer gets surprise from Santa


ZEELAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- The holiday season is bittersweet for an Ottawa County family. They're giving their 6-year-old twin boys the best Christmas ever.

One of them is healthy, the other has terminal cancer.

"The deck has been stacked against him, that's for sure", says Mark Wiersma. He and his wife Kate had twins Max and Wes in 2009. "We made it to 24 weeks and five days," he continued. "Two boys: 1lb 10 oz. and 1lb and 11 oz.," says Kate.

Max and Wes spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit. Wes went home first. "Max immediately showed signs of bigger issues." Mark says, "His lungs for whatever reason, were in way worse condition."

Lilly Endowment, Inc. Funds Summer "Awakening" Program at Hope College for High School Students

HOLLAND – Hope College has received a major grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to establish Awakening, a summer institute designed to deepen high school students’ faith formation and understanding of Christian theology, and to help them explore the moral dimension of contemporary issues and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.

The program has received a grant of $500,000 through Lilly Endowment’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative.  The Endowment has provided grants to 82 select private four-year colleges and universities around the nation as part of its commitment to identify and cultivate a cadre of theologically minded youth who will become leaders in church and society.  Hope is the only college or university in Michigan to have received support through the initiative.

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Holland police pay it forward


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's not an easy time to be a police officer. They've been under the microscope lately with a lot of negative coverage nationally.

In Holland, they're trying to improve their relationship with the community.

On Wednesday, a group of police officers became Santa's helpers, taking a few families in need Christmas shopping. We're told anonymous donors provided gift cards for the trip.

2 home invasions reported in Holland Township


HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department is investigating two home invasions that happened early Monday morning.

The suspects entered two homes between 4 and 6:30 a.m. in a subdivision near 120th Avenue and Riley Street in Holland Township.

The homeowners were home and sleeping at the time. They reported hearing something unusual, but did not catch the burglars in the act.

The thieves got away with thousands of dollars in cash, jewelry and electronics. They were able to get in through unlocked doors.

The sheriffs' department is now reminding everyone to make sure to lock their doors.

If you have any information regarding these incidents, please call (800) 249-0911.


Group launches campaign to save Lake Michigan buoy


PORT SHELDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - An effort is underway to prevent a high-tech buoy credited with supplying critical information from Lake Michigan from being moved out of western Michigan.

The nonprofit Great Lakes Observing System is managing a fundraising campaign to cover about $25,000 in annual upkeep costs for the buoy. The fundraising campaign has until the end of February to meet that goal.

The buoy has been located in Lake Michigan off Ottawa County's Port Sheldon Township since 2012. The Holland Sentinel reports that it provides nearly real-time data to anyone interested in knowing about local weather and wave patterns.